Read Hollywood’s Movie Review of Burnt Offerings!
Ben and Marion Rolf along with their son Davey and Ben’s peppy old Aunt Elizabeth decide to rent a large at one time lovely old mansion for a summer break from a sister and brother Allen and Roz Allardyce. Once Roz tells them what the rent is to be Ben is intrigued but soon comes a few stipulations. 1. They must care for and maintain the house on their own. 2. Roz and Allen’s elderly mother Mrs. Allardyce will be there the entire time. She’s stays upstairs sleeping most of the time and they are to not bother her other than to leave a tray of food outside her door 3 times a day. This turns Ben off but Marion eventually persuades him.
Once they arrive at the home Roz and Allen are no where to be found. They leave a note in an envelope stating they had an emergency and had to leave. Leaving the keys needed but no phone number and no forwarding address. Everything seems simple enough at first, Ben and Davey cleaning and refilling the pool, Marion cleaning the home from top to bottom, Aunt Elizabeth enjoying her days painting. But soon things get weird.
One day while Davey and Ben are in the pool they start rough housing and before too long Ben is holding Davey under the water. Dunking him, bringing him up, tossing him and dunking him again. Davey begs for him to stop and Aunt Elizabeth starts to freak out telling Ben to stop. Aunt Elizabeth starts feeling run down and exhausted. Finding it hard to even get out of bed. Marion is becoming more and more obsessed with the home. Cleaning and trying to make it just right as though it is her home and they are staying. Marion goes every day to take a tray of food to Mrs. Allardyce with what seems like no response to knocking on her door. Increasingly Marion becomes more and more territorial about who goes into that wing of the home and that she be left alone. Aunt Elizabeth says she would like to leave. Something is wrong. Ben starts seeing a caretaker type man, pale, creepy and constantly smiling. He takes Aunt Elizabeth after she passes. Marion misses her funeral not wanting to leave Mrs. Allardyce.
The house seems to be reforming and renewing itself after Elizabeth’s death? One night as Davey is sleeping a gas stove is turned on and his door locked. Is the house trying to kill him? Ben decides he’s leaving with Davey and with out without Marion but the house won’t let him. One after the other trees fall in front of him blocking his path. Marion takes him back to the cursed home and he is now in a catatonic state after he sees the creepy caretaker. Once Davey almost drowns by unseen forces Marion snaps out of it and agrees to leave. As they are leaving Marion feels she must go back to let Mrs. Allardyce know they are leaving. After Marion doesn’t return, Ben, against his better judgment decides to go in and search for her. Once he makes it to a now open door to Mrs. Allardyce’s room he sees an elderly lady who he assumes is the elderly mom. She slowly turns and its Marion, aged significantly. She appears to have now become “Mother”. Soon we see Ben flying through the upstairs window to his death. Davey soon meets a grisly demise as he screams for help. We hear Roz and Allen speaking now. Stating the home is beautiful again. As it used to be. Mother is also back.
My thoughts: Ok, so overall for an older movie the premise isn’t a bad one but it did leave me a bit confused. I came away thinking the house was in a way “alive” and it needed people to feed some kind of curse. That the spirit of Mrs. Allardyce needed a new body every so often which is why Marion became her? But I’m just not sure. I would have liked some explanation as to who the creepy pale guy was. He seemed to be an intricate part of whatever was going on in the home but he just appeared here and there. It looks like he takes Elizabeth but then they have a funeral. If Marion was able to actually go in Mrs. Allardyce’s room what or who was she seeing? All in all this was a pretty good flick but it just left too many unanswered questions. There’s mysterious and then there’s confusing.